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10-18-2010, 03:20 PM   #16
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In macro work, I find the macro filters give me the biggest headaches. The edges always blur (well, they are inexpensive), but on a telephoto lens, they can be quite useful at times.

I've graduated to fixed focal length manual everything lenses (100mm macro, 50mm macro, etc). and find the extension tubes useful too. I've a k-mount bellows, but never seem to take it to work with me, so i'm not sure how well it would do, but it should be useful; they didn't just make them as a gimmick.

I should note that with the macro filters, I usually had to take many shots and then stitch them together in PP. With manual lenses I have a lot less stitching to do.


Last edited by chalion; 10-18-2010 at 03:25 PM.
10-18-2010, 04:57 PM   #17
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I like to say that AF zooms make it easy to photograph stuff, while manual primes teach you to see. Manual glass makes you think about light and shadow. Manual primes (of which I have MANY) make you move around, change distances and angles. Manual zooms (of which I have few) still make you slow down and smell the photons.

One thing: most new zooms are probably better than most old zooms. Tools and technology for creating such complex optics have improved tremendously since the first zooms of a couple generations ago. There are exceptions, like the Vivitar Series 1 80-200's (versions 1 and 3) that are still hard to beat. But my favorite older lenses are manual primes.

I just spent the afternoon walking around my forest and house with my sub-ultimate lens, an M42 (screwmount) Sears-Tomioka 55/1.4, which arrived a couple weeks ago. (I might get my ultimate lens in a couple hours; stay tuned.) Wide open, it can almost surgically slice a subject from its background. Stopped down a bit, it's razor-sharp. And such smooth bokeh! And it cost me US$12! (Well, shipping was another twelve bucks.) But I definitely can't just point & shoot, not in the local gloom. My autofocus Pentax FA50/1.4 is much faster to use; the manual Sears-Tomioka is rather more satisfying.

There's another feature of old glass: optical simplicity --> dimensionality. Many modern lenses are carefully corrected for many optical aberrations. These corrections often involve complex designs with many lens elements, which too often flatten the image a bit. Many older lens designs with only 3 or 4 elements are renowned for the almost 3D-look of their images. One favorite is my old M42 Meyer Trioplan (3-element) 100/2.8, which cost me all of US$27.

So why use old glass? To think more, which is fun. To get qualities rare in modern glass. To save money. And because they feel good.
10-18-2010, 05:01 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
One thing: most new zooms are probably better than most old zooms. Tools and technology for creating such complex optics have improved tremendously since the first zooms of a couple generations ago. There are exceptions, like the Vivitar Series 1 80-200's (versions 1 and 3) that are still hard to beat. But my favorite older lenses are manual primes.
I think you mean the 70-210

Vivitar Series 1 70-210 line Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database
10-18-2010, 06:22 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
This shouldn't have surprised you:

How the hell does autofocus know which part of the scene you really want to focus on?

This is why autofocus, although it has its place in the world, has ruined many a picture, and prevented new shooters from learning.

New shooters hear the beep and see the in-focus confirmation, but what does the camera really know? Even with multiple focus points, you could be trying to focus on a cute little flower, but the focus point is aimed at something 10 feet behind it.

Unless your shooting really fast-moving objects, manual focus rules. And even then, you can develop your technique where your manual turning of the focus ring is faster than AF.
I would compliment your statement with another thought: autofocus does not know how to anticipate what the subject is going to do. I've done a ton of waterfowl pics (and they can really move!) this year and much prefer manual focus to autofocus. It takes more time to learn the ins-and-outs of the manual lenses, but the quality of my photos from manual lenses are significantly better than with my autofocus lenses. The 'pop' I get from my 45 year old Orestegor vs. my DA*60-250 can't even compare to each other.

10-18-2010, 06:24 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I like to say that AF zooms make it easy to photograph stuff, while manual primes teach you to see. Manual glass makes you think about light and shadow. Manual primes (of which I have MANY) make you move around, change distances and angles. Manual zooms (of which I have few) still make you slow down and smell the photons.

One thing: most new zooms are probably better than most old zooms. Tools and technology for creating such complex optics have improved tremendously since the first zooms of a couple generations ago. There are exceptions, like the Vivitar Series 1 80-200's (versions 1 and 3) that are still hard to beat. But my favorite older lenses are manual primes.

I just spent the afternoon walking around my forest and house with my sub-ultimate lens, an M42 (screwmount) Sears-Tomioka 55/1.4, which arrived a couple weeks ago. (I might get my ultimate lens in a couple hours; stay tuned.) Wide open, it can almost surgically slice a subject from its background. Stopped down a bit, it's razor-sharp. And such smooth bokeh! And it cost me US$12! (Well, shipping was another twelve bucks.) But I definitely can't just point & shoot, not in the local gloom. My autofocus Pentax FA50/1.4 is much faster to use; the manual Sears-Tomioka is rather more satisfying.

There's another feature of old glass: optical simplicity --> dimensionality. Many modern lenses are carefully corrected for many optical aberrations. These corrections often involve complex designs with many lens elements, which too often flatten the image a bit. Many older lens designs with only 3 or 4 elements are renowned for the almost 3D-look of their images. One favorite is my old M42 Meyer Trioplan (3-element) 100/2.8, which cost me all of US$27.

So why use old glass? To think more, which is fun. To get qualities rare in modern glass. To save money. And because they feel good.
Well said!
10-20-2010, 12:08 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I think you mean the 70-210
Duh.

Yeah.

That's right.

That's what I meant.

Exactly.

Duh.



[/me wanders aimlessly through a forest of Tak-A 70-200, Viv-Kiron and Sears-Samyang 70-210, Albinar- (2x) and Sears-Samyang 80-200, muttering crudely]


QuoteOriginally posted by opiet70 Quote
Well said!
Thanks! Hit my rep, eh?

By the way, I guess the Sears 55/1.4 *is* my ultimate lens, maybe tied with the FA50/1.4 and the Schneider Betavaron 50-125. I've decided to skip on 50/1.2's for now. Somehow I have trouble justifying an extra US$400 or so for 1/3 f-stop. Everyone is welcome to tell me I'm wrong. Fine. I'm wrong. I admit it. So be it.

[/me heads back into the forest, whistling]

Last edited by RioRico; 10-20-2010 at 12:19 PM.
10-20-2010, 12:27 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Duh.

Somehow I have trouble justifying an extra US$400 or so for 1/3 f-stop. Everyone is welcome to tell me I'm wrong. Fine. I'm wrong. I admit it. So be it.
yes you are but not how you think. 1.2 x 1.2 = 1.2 (rounded to first decimal place) the F1.2 is a half stop not a third.

Otherwise I agree, I need sunglasses now with my F1.4,
10-21-2010, 04:30 AM   #23
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Well, what I have now is a Pentax-M 50 f2 lens that was given to me, so I can't complain. My plan is to master it and then see if a faster 50, perhaps even an A model, is justified or not. The Pentax M 135/3.5 has gotten the most use so far with sports for my children. Haven't used the 28/2.8 really at all yet.

10-21-2010, 06:36 PM   #24
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old lenses are perfect for video work,
I use manual lenses on my K7 when I do video,
the aperture rings makes me control my video more, and the IQ on those lenses are superb!
10-21-2010, 07:51 PM   #25
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I've only had my *ist and the Tamron lens for two days and already I'm finding the auto focus to be more trouble than it's worth. I tried to use AF yesterday and 3/4 of my shots looked like total crap. My keeper rate just plummeted.

Today I turned it off, went straight to manual, and I finally got some decent shots of my animals. Honestly I thought AF and the totally auto shooting mode would do a far better job of it than I can and I'm finding it's just the opposite. I'm not too crazy about it and I think I'd much rather just set it on manual and do it all myself.

Eh, what can I say? I'm just a complete control freak when it comes to setting and focusing my own camera, I guess. In the end I find I just don't want the camera deciding for me. I had more than enough of that with my Fuji P&S. The whole point of my graduating up to a DSLR was so I could stop doing that letting my camera babysit me and learn.

I'm not saying using the auto modes is evil, whatever works for you is fine by me, but I really don't like what I am getting with the auto settings anyway. In certain situations it's probably more practical I'm sure, but ultimately I think I just prefer to customize as I go and do as much of it as I can myself. I'm definitely a hands on, decide for yourself kind of photographer and I actually like the old lenses better than the digital Tamron I think. I can't wait to get my adapter so I can use the Takumars on this thing. Best of both worlds, digital camera, mostly manual lenses.
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